How to react after not getting a promotion

How to react after not getting a promotion

While pursuing a promotion or raise is an important professional milestone, it can also be scary for some people. Your manager should give you a promotion or raise when the time is right; however, if the time has passed and you are still tapping your foot, you might consider giving them a little push. After all, reaching out to enquire is never a terrible idea.


Disappointment is the emotion that arises when our expectations are not met, whether in personal or professional situations. When a coworker gets a promotion you didnt expect, your self-esteem and confidence are put to the test. If you believe you were promoted over someone less qualified, your dissatisfaction will be amplified. Disappointment at work is even more difficult when your coworkers know you were passed up.


Whether you formally interview for a position or merely inquire during a conversation with your manager, asking for a promotion or a raise at work is difficult. If you get it, thats great, but what if youre passed over and your request is turned down? What is the best method to deal with a situation where you apply for a promotion but dont get it?


It can be frustrating and discouraging to be passed over for a promotion, especially when you feel you deserve it, or someone you believe is less qualified obtains it instead.

Here are six things to do if you ask for a promotion but dont get it


1. Thank you, manager


Following the rejection, the first word out of your lips should be Thank you, as this will create an environment that is favorable to you and convenient for both you and your supervisor. Saying those two keywords keeps you on the verge of obtaining your promotion right then and there; its more of an easing ground and unseen tension between you two, and everything you say after that will be warmly welcomed and tolerated.


Consider praising his leadership talents and previous efforts. You are not attempting to persuade him to promote you or bribe him with flattering remarks. This simply acknowledges him and his position over time, particularly if he has extensive leadership experience.


2. Assess the situation objectively

Dont tell anyone else in your office about your displeasure. If you need to rant, do it with your partner or a friend. Find an opportunity to stroll outside and take a breath if you need some fresh air. Hard work and effort arent always rewarded with a promotion. Consider whether your expectations were reasonable.


You may be unaware of your coworkers qualifications and training. Your credentials could not have been exactly what management was looking for, or your personality might not have been as well suited to the job as your colleagues. Dont think you were passed over for a promotion because of someone less competent.


On the other hand, you have every right to be curious as to why someone who looks to be less competent was promoted ahead of you. Its probable that the decision was influenced by office politics. Qualifications arent always the deciding element in some situations and jobs.


3. Allow yourself to experience your emotions

Its understandable if you need some time to mope and whine. Your emotions are valid and completely understandable. Its frustrating to be passed up for a promotion. Its also time-consuming if you have to interview for a job.


When you have an empathetic listener to assist you in dealing with a terrible situation, it can be simpler to accept it. Allow yourself some time to process your feelings. Perhaps tell a buddy and have them buy you a drink or a cup of coffee while listening to your story.


4. Stay professional

Do it with your friends and family if you want to gripe, cry, or whine. Maintain a professional demeanor at work and in talks with your boss. If you learn the news from a manager in person, be courteous in your answer. \"Thank you for considering me,\" you can say.


You should not hold it against your coworker. Accept the chance that your coworker is just better qualified for the position than you are unless you have reason to think he purposely harmed your career by spreading rumors or discrediting your successes in front of your supervisor. Look for a mentorship relationship with a firm executive who can provide insider advice on how to advance up the corporate ladder. Make your achievements public. Make connections with other staff. Learn to solve difficulties and contribute to a team.


5. Refrain from making comparisons and focus on yourself

Its especially difficult to cope if you dont get the promotion, but a coworker does. Resist the impulse to compare yourself to others. If you bring it up to your boss, it wont help you obtain a promotion and will make you look petty.


Its all too simple to start comparing yourself against your coworkers. When you accomplish more assignments than her, how did she get promoted? How does he have a senior title when he is always late for work?


This, on the other hand, leads to rabbit tunnels of rage, frustration, and powerlessness. The only person you should focus on after being rejected for a promotion or raise is yourself. If necessary, take a few days off and simmer. Maintain your concentration on yourself and your performance at all times. Analyzing the actions of coworkers will be unhelpful.


6. Plan your career strategy

Do you believe you will be promoted sometime in the future, or will you be passed over at this business indefinitely? If the latter is the case, it may be time to update your resume and begin seeking the job. Even if it is the former, you should set a time frame for making changes that would boost your promotion prospects, and then meet with your manager to make the request.


7. Be Proactive and Seek Direct Feedback

After youve checked your feelings of rage and hurt at the door, its time to take charge and convert a dreadful event into a potentially good learning opportunity. Theres no need to play detective by dropping hints to employees to discover what occurred; the professional step is to go right to the source and question your boss.


Youll probably gain some insight into areas where you might improve, as well as how your firm makes leadership decisions. Plus, your manager might regard you more for your professionalism and drive to advance your career with the organization.


8. Make it a learning curve

Its time, to be honest with yourself now that you have the answers. Do you still believe you deserved to be promoted despite the criticism and what your supervisors were looking for? Was there anything else you could have done, or were there circumstances beyond your control?


Even though we all hope that promotions go to the most brilliant, industrious, and loyal employees, decades of office politics have shown us that this isnt always the case. However, you must truly listen to the criticism and be honest about your performance to assess whether it was reliable or just some nonsense to cover up a non-business-oriented decision. When youre passed over for a promotion, theres usually a combination of circumstances at play.


9. Congratulate your coworker, and be generous

 Of course, this will necessitate swallowing some pride, but the best thing you can do for yourself is to move on from the decision and look forward. You dont want to get into an unpleasant situation with your coworker, especially if they are your new boss! So, from a strategic standpoint, its critical to be upbeat, truthful, and complimentary.


10. Change your mindset

There could be various reasons why you were not chosen for the promotion. Being passed over for a position doesnt always reflect your abilities or personality. Most of the time, another candidate was just more qualified (which is subjective, to begin with), or the organization had a cause to hire someone from outside.


Plus, someones failure to see your worth has no bearing on your value as a person or a professional. It was not intended for you if you did not get the job. A redirection might be seen in rejection. After all, the one yes counts, not how many \"nos\" you get.


11. Build on the connection

Mention to the Human Resources Manager that youre interested in other internal roles that fit your skills and interests. A solid showing can often showcase your appeal as a candidate and help you stay on the radar for future chances.


Its terrible to be passed over for any position, but its more difficult when its from within the business where youll continue to work. You may rebuild your confidence and bounce back stronger than before by following these nine recommendations.



Knowing how to react after being passed over for a promotion necessitates a high level of emotional intelligence. Youll muck things up in no time if youre not emotionally intelligent. Everyone should be able to use emotional intelligence. If you can combine the techniques above with emotional intelligence, youll be well on your way to managing a post-rejection condition.


Nolwazi Mlala is a Business Analytics Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd a management and human resources consulting firm.

Phone +263 4 481946-48/481950/2900276/2900966

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Nolwazi Mlala
This article was written by Nolwazi a Guest at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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